All this month I’ve been watching horror flicks that I’ve never seen before. While this has been (mostly) fun, I also pined for my favorites. Tonight I watched The VVitch (the spelling of the name is a stylistic choice based on old typesetting practices).
Cast out from their settlement, a Puritan family struggles to survive on their own on a primitive farm near the woods. This becomes even more difficult due to the influence of the supernatural and one mean goat.
Why do I like The VVitch? Well….
I fucking love fiction set in time periods that usually don’t get a lot of attention. When I heard there was a movie set in colonial New England, I was immediately on board. To make things even better, director Robert Eggers put in a good amount of work towards making The VVitch fairly accurate, history-wise.
If we could get a horror film set in the Byzantine Empire, I’d die a happy man.
Another great thing about this film is how it uses it’s setting. With the exception of a brief scene at the beginning, the entire film takes place on the family’s farm and the surrounding woods (with rural Ontario filling in for New England). This bottle-episode approach works quite well, heightening the unease and tension that ripples through the family.
The VVitch is, at it’s core, a religious horror film. It’s established pretty early on that A Witch Did It, and it doesn’t take long for the family to figure this out. They are, after all, in a society which takes the presence of Satan as a fact and views misfortune as a punishment for your own sins. I had a similar experience growing up Southern Baptist, but that’s a story for another night….
One complaint about the movie that I’ve heard a lot is that it isn’t scary enough. I think a lot of that is due to people expecting The Craft but instead getting a less-gory Omen. Not sure how they could have marketed the latter, to be honest.
It’s been quite a month. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t watch movies a whole lot, but this was definitely fun. I’ve liked having an excuse to write for fun now that I’m out of the university, and I appreciate all the encouragement and feedback everyone has given me. Thanks!
Now, on to the rundown!
Most Pleasant Surprise:
The Blackcoat’s Daughter. Going in, I was afraid it would be a bit too much of an artsy film. Instead it was really interesting and had an amazingly creepy performance by one Kiernan Shipka. A stone cold classic.
Least Pleasant Surprise:
Eyes of My Mother. That was more anxiety-inducing than I would have liked.
Best Usage of Man-Ass:
Approximately 2/3rds of An American Werewolf in London. I think I could pick David Naughton’s buns out of a lineup at this point.
I watched my first film, Starry Eyes, about two weeks before the Harvey Weinstein stuff came out. Holy shit did it get more relevant.
Least Scary, But Coolest:
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. It’s not even really horror, but damn did I love it.